Sri Lanka CEB loses Rs25.5bn, debts balloon

Apr 14, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 25.5 billion rupees in 2011 and run up debts of 121 billion rupees with a petroleum distributor and independent power producers. Data in the Central Bank’s annual report said power generation rose 7.5 percent to 11,521 GigaWatt hours (millions of units), and sales rose 8.2 percent to 10,024 with system losses coming down from 13.5 percent to 13.0 percent.

But the utility lost 25.5 billion rupees as more thermal generation replaced hydro with a failure of rain.

Its short term debt with state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and independent power producers was 121 billion rupees.

Credit taken by the Ceylon Electricity Board to manipulate energy prices, and manipulated interest rates which were not allowed to rise for credit and deposits in the banking system to reach equilibrium were key reasons for Sri Lanka’s dollar peg to come under pressure.

The rupee fell from 109 to near 131 to the US dollar before recovering after interest rates were raised and energy prices increased.

The central bank said consumption by households rose 7.6 percent due to higher utilization of domestic appliances in rural areas wit